Tonight, Marcus Gee will be live-blogging the highlights of the first debate of Toronto's 2010 civic campaign season, held at Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School in Scarborough. Hosted by Mike Del Grande, the councillor for Ward 29 (Scarborough-Agincourt), the community event begins at 6 p.m. ET and was billed as a low-key Q&A session with the north Toronto community. Opening statements won't be allowed and two high-school students will ask the top six candidates approximately 20 questions about issues in the ward and nearby neighbourhoods, Mr. Del Grande said.
On the dance card are former Ontario Liberal cabinet minister George Smitherman, former Liberal Party fundraiser Rocco Rossi, business woman Sarah Thomson and Toronto City Councillors Joe Pantalone, Giorgio Mammoliti and Rob Ford.
Before the talking even began there was already some politicking, as the candidates had to be instructed to leave their base supporters at home.
Twenty-six people are currently registered for mayor in the Oct. 25 election. Mr. Del Grande said police will be on hand at tonight's event to keep fringe candidates from disrupting the proceedings.
"We're trying our best to not make it a zoo," Mr. Del Grande said.
If you aren't one of the lucky 600 to fill the venue, click on the live blog box below at 6 p.m. for a blow-by-blow account:
With files from Kelly Grant